forgive but can’t forget

My best friend from college and I had a falling out a few years back, it’s old news so I won’t hash it out here, this isn’t the appropriate forum for it. I was reading this blog when I came to the realization that I should forgive him, because he has(d) a disease.

I’ve known my friend since 1996 and I can say that since 1997 he’s been one of my closest friends, at the time of our falling out we’d been friends for over 10 years. He’d been there for me during heartbreak, fun and strange times. The falling out was major and we didn’t speak for over a year.

Part of the reason for the falling out was his disease. He blamed his misdeed on his alcoholism, and frankly I could not forgive him. I could not understand; I was too hurt to try.

I read Jessica Doyle’s post on her addiction, it clicked for me.

In the 2 years between our falling out my buddy hit bottom. His alcohol addiction took over his life. Somewhere in there I got a random email from him (or it seemed random) telling me he was quitting his job nearby to my, moving back home and going into rehab. I was relieved to read the email but at the time I was still too hurt and still wanted to punch him in the mouth for what he’d done.

Over the years my feelings have muted and I’ve for the most part forgiven him. We’ll never be the same but despite his actions I’ll always love him like a brother and care for him more than I do most people.

That’s why it bothers me so much to learn that he’s in the hospital about to have the valve replaced on his heart for a second time.  His surgery is today and I wish him well.